Category: Ancient Cilvilizations and Giants

BIBLE BOMBSHELL: Archaeologists unearth site of Jesus’ ‘water into wine’ miracle

THE RIDDLE of the site of Jesus’ ‘first miracle’ has baffled religious scholars for centuries. By Tom Fish / Published 30th August 2018

But now academics claim to have solved the millennia-old mystery, bolstering the case for the New Testament’s historical accuracy.

The Gospel of John famously recounts the story of Jesus Christ turning water into wine during the Wedding at Cana.

In the account, Jesus, his mother Mary and his disciples are invited to a wedding, and when the wine runs out, Jesus delivers a sign of his glory by turning water into wine.

Pilgrims have for hundreds of years believed the miracle site to be Kafr Kanna, a town in northern Israel near the Sea of Galilee.

“We have uncovered a large Christian veneration cave complex”

Archeologist Dr Tom McCollough

But in a bombshell development, archaeologists now believe the Cana of biblical times to actually be a dusty hillside five miles further north.

And our pictures show precisely the location of the incredible find.

A number of compelling clues suggest the site is actually Khirbet Qana, a Jewish village which existed between the years of 323 BC and AD 324.

Excavations have revealed a network of tunnels used for Christian worship, marked with crosses and references to Kyrie Iesou, a Greek phrase meaning Lord Jesus.

There was also an altar and a shelf with the remains of a stone vessel, plus room for five more.

Pen News

MYSTERY: An altar marked with a cross in a tunnels has been unearthed

Pen News/Alfred Muller

NEW TESTAMENT: The site where Jesus changed water into wine has been found

Six stone jars like this held the wine in the biblical account of the miracle.

Dr Tom McCollough, who is directing excavations at the site, said there were three other sites with a credible claim to being the Cana of scripture.

“But none has the ensemble of evidence that makes such a persuasive case for Khirbet Qana,” he said.

“We have uncovered a large Christian veneration cave complex that was used by Christian pilgrims who came to venerate the water-to-wine miracle.

“This complex was used at the beginning of the late fifth or early 6th Century and continued to be used by pilgrims into the 12th Century Crusader period.

“The pilgrim texts we have from this period that describe what pilgrims did and saw when they came to Cana of Galilee match very closely what we have exposed as the veneration complex.”

As part of his evidence, Dr McCollough points to the work of first-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus.

He said: “His references to Cana align geographically with the location of Khirbet Qana and align logically with his movements.

“The reference to Cana in Josephus, the New Testament and in the rabbinic texts would argue the village was a Jewish village, near the Sea of Galilee and in the region of lower Galilee.

“Khirbet Qana fulfills all of these criteria.”

As for the better-known site at Kafr Kanna, Dr McCollough is sceptical.

“When tourists visiting Israel today are taken to Cana, they are taken to Kafr Kanna,” he said.

“However, this site was not recognized as a pilgrimage site for those seeking Cana until the 1700s.

“At this point the Franciscans were managing Christian pilgrimage and facilitating easy passage rather than historical accuracy.”

Dr McCollough believes the discoveries at Khirbet Qana could even bolster the case for the historicity of the Gospel of John.

He said: “Our excavations have shown that this was in fact a thriving Jewish village located in the heart of much of Jesus’ life and ministry.

“For the Gospel of John, Cana is in some ways, Jesus’ safe place or operational centre. It is a place he and his disciples return to when they encounter resistance in Judea.

“I would argue our excavations warrant at least a reconsideration of the historical value of John’s references to Cana and Jesus.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9359

Have The Temple Vessels Been Located?

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz August 13, 2018 , 2:28 pm

Within two full years will I bring back into this place all the vessels of Hashem‘S house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Bavel took away from this place, and carried them to Bavel. Jeremiah 28:3 (The Israel Bible™)

After nearly a decade of writing, the remarkable story of one man’s quest to decipher the ancient map leading to the gold and silver Temple vessels is being published.

Shelley Neese, vice president of the Jerusalem Connection, became involved in the story over a decade ago and has spent nearly eight years writing the The Copper Scroll Project, the story of an unlikely hero who may have unraveled one of history’s most enduring mysteries.

In 2007, Neese was the editor for Jerusalem Connection Magazine and she met Barfield at a Christian conference in Texas.

“I was unfamiliar with the Copper Scrolls, and at first I didn’t believe his story about treasure maps, gold, and the Jewish Temple,” Neese, told Breaking Israel News. “All the alarm bells in my head went off. But after I looked it up, I realized that he hadn’t embellished it at all.”

Discovered in 1952 near Qumran on the shores of the Dead Sea, the Copper Scroll is unlike the other Dead Sea Scrolls which are mostly religious manuscripts written on parchment. The Copper Scroll, as its name suggests, is engraved on a thin sheet of copper. And, in contrast to the others, the Copper Scroll is a list of gold and silver items and the 64 locations where they can be found.

Many archaeologists believe the Copper Scroll is an inventory from the Second Temple.In addition to gold and silver, Temple vessels and priestly vestments are listed. No archaeologist has ever succeeded in deciphering the directions contained in the Copper Scroll and finding the treasure.

The book follows the efforts of Jim Barfield, a man who, at first glance, seems entirely unsuited to search for the Temple artifacts, but whose unique skills may have solved one of history’s most enduring mysteries. Barfield, a Noahide who speaks no Hebrew, also has no background in archaeology. A retired criminal investigator for the Oklahoma Fire Department, Barfield was used to patiently sifting through the ashes to find the truth.

In 2006, Barfield was interested in the Dead Sea Scrolls and their relevance to Bible study. At first, he was uninterested in the Copper Scroll which had no theological significance. Barfield’s fascination turned into a burning desire after he met Vendyl Jones. Jones, a Texas preacher turned Biblical archaeologist, believed Qumran to be the hiding place for the Temple vessels and spent 30 years searching for them using the Copper Scroll as a guide. Jones discovered a small vial of persimmon oil used to anoint kings and high priests, and a large quantity of what he believed was Temple incense. Barfield met with Jones, now deceased, and Jones suggested he revisit the Copper Scroll.

“Vendyl told Jim the Copper Scroll had more prophecy in it than any of the other Dead Sea Scrolls,” Neese said.

Barfield’s curiosity turned into passion and he returned to deciphering the Copper Scroll. He searched maps for the “ruins of the Valley of Achor” mentioned in the scroll. The valley is believed to be near Jericho but the precise location is unknown. As a young man, he had piloted helicopters for the U.S. Army. Using his map-reading skills to triangulate, he was able to pinpoint locations on an aerial map of Qumran. Very quickly, pieces of the puzzle began falling into place.

Part of the mysterious Copper Scroll found at the Qumran caves (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

“It’s really not revolutionary what he did,” Neese said. “He figured it out using available sources in his office in Oklahoma, relying on his skills as an arson investigator.”

In one case, the scroll described steps, 40 cubits long, heading east. Barfield did indeed find stairs. The archaeologist reported the stairs to be 60 feet, or precisely 40 cubits. He also discovered the remains of a pool, precisely 40 cubits long, exactly where the scroll said it would  be. He believed he had found many of the locations listed on the scroll but to verify his theories, he needed to visit the site.

In 2007, Barfield travelled to Israel to do exactly that, but to pursue his investigation, he needed the approval of the Israel Antiquities Authority to search Qumran. Barfield met with Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) director Shuka Dorfman. Dorfman was unreceptive at first, but as Barfield laid out his proofs, explaining the signposts described in the Copper Scroll, Dorfman became enthusiastic and arranged a meeting with veteran archaeologist and Qumran expert, Yuval Peleg.

Peleg agreed to dig some exploratory holes at the site with Barfield. Less than an hour after beginning shallow test pits, Peleg received a phone call and without any explanation, Peleg shut down the dig.

This was the beginning of many bureaucratic stone walls preventing Barfield from verifying his theory. He purchased a sophisticated metal detector that could penetrate 50 feet while differentiating between ferrous and non-ferrous metal, i.e. gold and silver. Barfield applied to the IAA, asking to run a non-intrusive scan of a few spots in Qumran. His request was denied.

In 2013, Barfield was in New York where he was introduced to Moshe Feiglin who, at the time, was a Likud Member of Knesset. Feiglin was a strong advocate for the Temple and became enthused when he heard Barfield’s story, even offering to accompany him on a tour of the site. A few weeks later, the two were wandering around the tourist site, a large duffel bag in tow. They visited five spots that Barfield felt were most likely repositories for Temple treasure.

One hour later, Barfield ran the data from the metal detector through his computer. Every spot was a hit and one locus especially so.

“It showed up on the metal detector like Fort Knox,” Neese said.

The Israeli government is still not permitting Barfield to investigate and there has been a moratorium on archaeological digging at Qumran.

“It is in area C and different laws apply to the archaeology than in other parts of Israel,” Neese said. “It is disputed territory and anything that comes out of the ground can be disputed. It is possible that the Israeli government is concerned that if they dig up this massive treasure, Jordan or the Palestinian Authority will sue for it. Even if it comes from the Jewish Temple.”

In fact, the Copper Scroll, an ancient artifact inscribed in Hebrew, is currently in a museum in Amman, Jordan.

In an interview with Breaking Israel News last year, Barfield stated his motives.

“I am a Noahide,” he explained to Breaking Israel News. “I want to return the Temple artifacts to the Jewish People. It’s time.”

If Barfield is successful, it will bring the Third Temple much closer.

Not only does Neese chronicle this amazing story but she was an integral player in much of it. A native of Louisiana, she first came to Israel in 2000 with her husband, a U.S. Air Force physician. With no knowledge of Israel, she became intensely curious  about the country and received her M.A in Middle Eastern Studies from Ben Gurion University. She spent the months leading up to the Gaza disengagement in 2005 in Israel, working with a team of negotiators. When she went back to the U.S., she became the assistant to the Consul General at the Consulate of Israel to New England.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9328

Egypt’s Second Sphinx Found Buried in Thebes

By Clyde Hughes    |   Friday, 10 August 2018 07:36 AM

Egypt’s second sphinx reportedly has been found buried in the ancient city of Thebes, bringing a stop to infrastructure construction in the area after the buried statue was detected, RT.com quoted local reports on Tuesday. Its existence had long been rumored.

Mohamed Abdel Aziz, the director general of antiquities in the area, said construction workers found a statue of “a lion’s body with a human head” while doing roadwork between the ancient temples of Karnak and Luxor.

The news website Youm said statue could not be lifted to the surface at this time “due to the nature of the environment it is in,” according to RT.

A sphinx adjacent to the Great Pyramids is the world’s best known of the statues, History.com said. The Great Pyramids of Giza, built when Egypt was one of the richest and most powerful civilizations in the world, are some of the most magnificent man-made structures in history.

The $12.7-million Al-Kabbash road project, which was scheduled to be finish by 2018, was supposed to allow easier access for visitors in the ancient area, according to Egypt Today. The news outlet eaid the excavation and restoration of Al-Kabbash road started in 2005 but has faced delays.

Thebes and the two temples date back to 1400 BC. Original excavations of Luxor temple started in 1884, leading to “significant discoveries” until work there ended about 1960.

The majority of the pharaohs of the 18th to 20th dynasties, who ruled from 1550 to 1069 BC, rested in the tombs which were cut into the local Egyptian rock, The Guardian reported. The royal tombs were decorated with scenes from Egyptian mythology, which likely revealed their beliefs and funerary rituals of the time.

Nearly all of the tombs have been opened since and have been looted of their riches centuries ago, but the gravesites still give an idea of the power of the Pharaohs, the Daily Mail said.

The sphinx is believed to be a symbol of royalty in ancient Egypt, RT said, and worshippers carved the heads of many pharaohs into statues for their tombs to mark their relationship with the lioness solar deity Sekhmet.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9326

Scientists discover Great Pyramid of Giza can focus electromagnetic energy through its hidden chambers

  • New analysis shows pyramid concentrates electromagnetic energy in chambers
  • This includes two chambers inside, and a third unfinished one beneath the base
  • Scientists say breakthrough could lead to more efficient nanoparticle designs

By Cheyenne Macdonald For Dailymail.com

Published: 14:48 EDT, 30 July 2018 | Updated: 12:20 EDT, 31 July 2018

The remarkable electromagnetic properties of the Great Pyramid of Giza could soon inspire nanoparticle designs for highly-efficient sensors and solar cells.

Scientists have discovered the famous pyramid concentrates electric and magnetic energy into its internal chambers and below its base, creating pockets of higher energy.

If this concentrating effect is able to be recreated on a nanoscale size, it could lead to a wave of new, more efficient sensors and solar cells, the researchers claim.

While the 481-foot pyramid built thousands of years ago for Pharaoh Khufu has long drawn intrigue for its purported mythical qualities, the study is among a growing body of research attempting to finally get to the bottom of its physical properties.

Scientists have found that the famous Great Pyramid of Giza can concentrate electric and magnetic energy in its chambers and below its base, giving rise to distinct pockets of higher energy

‘Egyptian pyramids have always attracted great attention,’ says Dr Andrey Evlyukhin, scientific supervisor and coordinator of the research.

‘We as scientists were interested in them as well, so we decided to look at the Great Pyramid as a particle dissipating radio waves resonantly.’

The international research team looked into the relationship between the shape of the Great Pyramid of Giza and its ability to focus electromagnetic energy.

To do this, the team led by ITMO University in Saint Petersburg, Russia, created a model of the pyramid, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, to accurately measure it electromagnetic response.

The researchers used the model to see how wave energy is scattered or absorbed by the pyramid. They tested the interactions with waves of resonant length, ranging from 200 to 600 metres (656ft to 1,968ft).

Given the lack of reliable information about the pyramid’s properties, however, the team says they had to fill in the blanks for some factors.

‘We had to use some assumptions,’ Evlyukhin admitted. ‘For example, we assumed that there are no unknown cavities inside, and the building material with the properties of an ordinary limestone is evenly distributed in and out of the pyramid.

‘With these assumptions made, we obtained interesting results that can find important practical applications.’

Scientists used multipole analysis – a method widely-used in physics to study the interaction between a complex object and electromagnetic field – to reveal how the pyramid concentrates electromagnetic energy into in its underground chambers.

A multipole analysis shows the pyramid concentrates electromagnetic energy in its hidden chambers. The distributions of electric (a)–(e) and magnetic (f)–(j) field magnitude in the Pyramid and its supporting substrate is shown above

This includes the two chambers believed to have contained the remains of Pharaoh Khufu and his wife, as well as the third unfinished chamber buried beneath the base.

The Ancient Egyptians that built the pyramids more than 4,400 years ago were not aware of this quirk of design.

However, researchers now believe the relationship between the design of the pyramid and its ability to focus wave energy through to its core could play a hugely-important for nanoparticle research in the future.

When considering the pyramid on a substrate – such as the limestone plateau – the researchers say it focuses the energy through the empty spaces to the substrate.

‘In the case of the Pyramid on the substrate, at the shorter wavelengths, the electromagnetic energy accumulates in the chambers providing local spectral maxima for electric and magnetic fields,’ the researchers wrote in the study.

‘It is shown that basically the Pyramid scatters the electromagnetic waves and focuses them in to the substrate region.’

A multipole analysis shows the pyramid concentrates electromagnetic energy in its hidden chambers. Distributions of electric (top row) and magnetic (bottom row) field magnitudes in the free space are shown

While the 481-foot pyramid built thousands of years ago for Pharaoh Khufu has long drawn intrigue for its purported mythical qualities, the study is among a growing body of research attempting to finally get to the bottom of its physical properties

THE PYRAMID OF GIZA

For more than 4,500 years, Egypt’s pyramids have kept their secrets hidden deep within the labyrinth of passages and chambers that lie inside their towering stone structures.

But the long-running row over whether the Great Pyramid of Giza is hiding a network of previously undiscovered tunnels behind its stone walls has now been answered.

The researchers confirmed the find using cosmic particles known as muons to scan the Great Pyramid of Giza.

They used the scans to create maps to reveal the internal structure of the 479 feet (146m) high pyramid.

Last year thermal scanning identified a major anomaly in the Great Pyramid, the largest and oldest of the pyramids at Giza and one of the seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Those scans identified three adjacent stones at its base which registered higher temperatures than others.

Those scans identified three adjacent stones at its base which registered higher temperatures than others.

This led to theories that they may be hiding a secret chamber that had yet to be discovered.

Video playing bottom right…

A team of experts then set up the ScanPyramid’s project to use muons, tiny subatomic particle that are typically produced by cosmic rays smash into atoms on Earth, to peer through the pyramid’s huge stone blocks, some of which weight up to 15 tons.

Dr Hawass has in the past been sceptical of the usefulness of conducting such scans.

He recently clashed publicly with British Egyptologists over their theory that a secret burial chamber may be hidden behind the walls of Tutankhamun’s tomb in his pyramid in the Valley of the Kings.

‘Although this research seems unconventional, modern physical approaches have been previously used to study the Great Pyramid, and led to a discovery of a completely new structure,’ said Antonija Grubisic-Cabo, a physicist from Monash University who was not involved in the research.

‘As this research is completely theoretical, it is difficult to say what we can expect it to lead to, or if it is even possible to do this in real life.’

However, the researchers behind the study are confident that the manner in which electromagnetic energy distribute in the pyramid could help scientists create efficient nanoparticle designs in the future.

That depends on whether the researchers are able to recreate the concentrating effect observed in the Great Pyramid of Giza on a nanoscale size.

Dr Polina Kapitainova, of the Faculty of Physics and Technology of ITMO University, said: ‘Choosing a material with suitable electromagnetic properties, we can obtain pyramidal nanoparticles with a promise for practical application in nanosensors and effective solar cells.’

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9292

Archaeological Discovery: 2,800-Year-Old Face, Possibly of Biblical King, Found in Israel

A small carved sculpture discovered in the ancient city of Abel Beth Maacah in northern Israel, and dating back over 2,800 years, could be a depiction of a biblical king, according to archaeologists.

Robert Mullins, a professor at Azusa Pacific University’s Department of Biblical and Religious Studies, who is co-director of excavations in the ancient city, said last week that the sculpture was found last summer in a large building at the highest point of the city.

The figure, only 2 by 2.2 inches in size and carved in a type of glazed ceramic, depicts a man with long black hair and a beard, wearing a yellow and black headband.

The head was originally attached to a figurine that would have stood 8-10 inches in height.

“Despite the head’s small and innocuous appearance, it provides us with a unique opportunity to gaze into the eyes of a famous person from the past; a past enshrined in the Book of Ages,” said Mullins.

“Given that the head was found in a city that sat on the border of three different ancient kingdoms, we do not know whether it depicts the likes of King Ahab of Israel, King Hazael of Aram-Damascus, or King Ethbaal of Tyre, rulers known from the Bible and other sources. The head represents a royal enigma.”

All three of the figures mentioned by Mullins are found in the Bible.

King Ahab is said to have been the husband of the infamous Jezebel, who worshiped the pagan god Baal, with 1 Kings 16:30 explaining that he “did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him.”

King Hazael is mentioned in 1 Kings 19:15, with God telling the prophet Elijah to anoint Hazael king over Aram Damascus.

King Ethbaal is found in 1 Kings 16:31, where he is referred to as the father of Jezebel.

Azusa Pacific University, which is an evangelical Christian university, pointed out that Abel Beth Maacah is itself mentioned on several occasions in the Hebrew Bible, and has been the site of a number of notable discoveries.

Mullins and his research team have been excavating the remains of what could be an ancient citadel dating back to the time of the Israelite kings, with the rooms containing evidence of metallurgical activity, as well as Phoenician storage vessels.

Separately, technological innovations have been aiding archaeologists in their study of evidence dating back to various biblical kings.

In June 2017, high-tech imaging allowed Tel Aviv University researchers to read for the first time the inscription on the back of an ancient pottery shard that was discovered back in 1965, but had been unreadable until then.

The shard has been dated back to 600 B.C., before the destruction of Judah’s Kingdom by the biblical King Nebuchadnezzar, one of the most important characters in the Book of Daniel.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9236

Rare Jewish Coins Found in Temple Mount Excavation

By JNS May 22, 2018 , 12:30 pm

“A beka a head, half a shekel by the sanctuary weight, for each one who was entered in the records, from the age of twenty years up, 603,550 men.” Exodus 38:26 (The Israel Bible™)

A man displays ancient coins in Jerusalem. (Photo: Flash90)

Five exceptionally rare ancient coins from among the very first ever minted by Jews were discovered on the Temple Mount, evidence of Jewish activity at the disputed site.

The small coins – three in pristine condition and two showing signs of wear – were discovered as part of the Temple Mount Sifting Project, an archaeological initiative started in order to sift thousands of tons of dirt illegally excavated and dumped in the Kidron Valley by the Islamic Waqf in 1999. The Waqf excavations compromised the archaeological integrity of the Temple Mount and sparked outrage in Israel, leading many to suggest that the Waqf was intentionally attempting to eradicate evidence of two Jewish Temples which stood on the Mount for over 800 years.

The sifting project, which has operated since 2004 in the Emek Tzurim National Park, aims to salvage religious and historical artifacts from the rubble, as well as to educate the public about the veracity of Jewish history on the Mount.

The newly-discovered coins bear the letters “YHD,” or Yehud, the Aramaic name for the biblical kingdom of Judea, and are dated to the end of the 4th century BCE.

According to one of the co-directors of the project, Zachi Dvira, only five other coins of this kind have been found in the 150 years of archaeological digging in ancient Jerusalem sites.

Dvira noted that Jewish pilgrims would bring offerings of first fruits of the season to the Temple around the time of the Shavuot holiday, and would often convert their value to silver in the days of the Second Temple.

He also noted that the Temple was a center of commerce and public administration, making it a prime site for finding coins.

“These were the first coins ever minted by Jews,” Dvira said in an interview with Israel’s Ynet news. “They express the people’s return to their land after the Babylonian exile, and their ability to hold and maintain diplomatic ties with the ruling empire—then Persia—similar to our relations with the United States today.”

He noted that the New Israeli Shekel also bears the letters YHD, exactly as they appear on the newly unearthed coins.

Though state funding for the project halted in 2017, the Temple Mount Sifting Project is now aiming to bring mobile sifting units of Temple Mount dirt to Israeli schools and communities, enabling children to learn about Jewish history in Jerusalem and to participate in the sifting themselves.

More than half a million artifacts have been pulled from the rubble so far by over 200,000 participants, including 6,000 ancient coins.

In May 2017, UNESCO adopted a resolution denying Jewish connection to Jerusalem. In October 2016, the international body said the Jewish people have no ties to the Temple Mount

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9195

Mysterious Siberian Humanoid Statue is Older Than the Pyramids

Brett Tingley April 27, 2018

Recent archaeological discoveries suggest that Siberia was once the home of a possibly highly developed Ice Age civilization. Relics ranging from massive unexplained megaliths to mysterious walled structures have been found, suggesting that these people were capable of significant architectural feats. While it has been known that there were tribes of people living in this area during the Ice and Stone ages, these new discoveries suggest that these civilizations were more advanced than previously thought. Now, a new analysis of a creepy humanoid statue found in the Ural mountains has been dated to even before the pyramids. Is there a lost chapter of human history waiting to be unearthed in Eurasia and Siberia?

Possibly, if a recent analysis published in Antiquity is confirmed. The study examines the Shigir Idol, believed to be the most ancient wooden sculpture in the world. The statue was discovered in fragments beginning in the 19th century in an open-air gold mine which contained other ancient artifacts. Several studies have dated the statue to be around 9,000 years old, but this latest study claims that age is more likely 11,600 years old – twice as old as the pyramids.

The purpose and meaning of the idol remain shrouded in mystery, but it does bear resemblance to other Ice Age art found near Turkey’s Göbekli Tepe, believed to be the oldest known temple in the world. The authors of this recent study write that the statue “may reflect encoded mythologies” and could provide a glimpse into the folklore and beliefs of early civilizations indigenous to this part of the world:

The vertical placement of the faces could indicate the presence of an internal hierarchy among the images, or a sequence of events. Above all, however, the Shigir sculpture is unique within the early art of Eurasia and offers the potential for a better understanding of the spiritual world of early hunter-gatherer-fishers of the forest zone of Eurasia.

Pre-industrial human civilizations had only natural materials at their disposal, meaning the ravages of time have likely rendered into dust all evidence of these early civilization. Will we ever truly understand our own species’ early history?

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9166

New Archaeological Find is Helping Settle Academic Dispute Over Historical King David

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz April 30, 2018 , 3:45 pm

“But a shoot shall grow out of the stump of Yishai, A twig shall sprout from his stock.” Isaiah 11:1 (The Israel Bible™)

Archaeologists, aided by burrowing mole rats, discovered a large building in the valley below the hills of Hebron attributed to the kingdom of Biblical King David. The discovery is a milestone in the ongoing debate over the veracity of Biblical King David as a historical figure with most archaeologists now looking to the Bible as having a factual basis.

“Until 25 years ago no one doubted that King David was a historical figure,”  Professor Avraham Faust, director of the archaeological dig, told Breaking Israel News. “In the last 25 years or so, however, David’s historicity, and especially the size of his kingdom, are hotly debated“.

“The new discovery at Tel ‘Eton, located in the Judean Shephelah to the east of the Hebron hills, seems to suggest that the highland kingdom controlled larger areas than some scholars believe”, Faust added.

The dig, led by  Professor Faust of Bar-Ilan University, is at Tel Eton, in the valley near the Hebron hills. The city that once stood at the site has been identified by scholars as Eglon, a city which, according to the Bible, fought against the Israelites as part of the five Amorite kings coalition and was later listed as part of the tribe of Judah.

This was the portion of the tribe of the Judites by their clans…Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon. Joshua 15:20,39

The discovery has become part of an ongoing dispute among archaeologists about whether King David actually existed as a real historical figure or whether he was just a mythological figure existing only in the pages of the Bible.. The finds from Tel ‘Eton, recently published by Faust and Yair Sapir in the journal Radiocarbon, led the authors to claim that the city was once part of David’s kingdom.  The structure was dated to the 10th century – the time in which King David was supposed to have ruled according to the Bible – on the basis of radiocarbon dates of samples from the floor make-up and from the foundation deposit. After describing the building and the reasons that led them to date it to the 10th century BCE, Faust and Sapir wrote:

“This has bearings on the date in which social complexity evolved in Judah, on the debate regarding the historicity of the kingdom of David and Solomon.”

Dr. Faust explained how they came to this remarkable conclusion.

“We, of course, did not find any artifacts that said ‘King David’ or King Solomon’ but we discovered at the site signs of a social transformation the region underwent, including the construction of a large edifice in a plan known to archaeologists as ‘the four-room house’ which is common in Israel but is rare to non-existent elsewhere. This seems to indicate that the inspiration or cause for the transformations are to be sought in the highland. The association with David is not based on any archaeological evidence but on circumstantial grounds only. Since the source of the change seems to be in the highlands, and since it took place at the time when David was supposed to have existed, the link is plausible,” Professor Faust told Breaking Israel News. “Moreover, the changes are consistent with larger regional changes, all connected with the highlands, and all taking place at a time the Kingdom of David was supposed to have to spread into this region”.

“The association with the highland kingdom, as well as the time of the change, are the main discovery, and if someone thinks that there was no King David, that person should come with a different name for the highland king in whose time the region was incorporated into the highland kingdom,” Professor Faust added.

“The association with the highland kingdom, as well as the time of the change, are the main discovery, and if someone thinks that there was no King David, that person should come with a different name for the highland king in whose time the region was incorporated into the highland kingdom”.

This connection between the Bible and archaeology made by Professor Faust can be problematic, as Dr. Eilat Mazar, a prominent Israeli archaeologist, explained.

“Archaeology does not begin with a belief and the Bible and then a search for proof,” Dr. Mazar told Breaking Israel News. “We first find evidence and then try to understand the truth behind the evidence.”

For the most part, evidence of Biblical events is lacking, Dr. Mazar noted.

“Even with what is written about David, one of the more prominent figures in the Bible, there are very few events that would leave evidence we could find archaeological proof of today.”

Nonetheless, Dr. Mazar uses the Bible as a resource to guide her work. This has set her at odds with many other Israeli archaeologists who reject the validity of this technique.

“We can use the Bible as a source to guide our search, but we cannot use the Bible as proof,” Dr. Mazar said. “But conclusions are drawn after a very long and thorough process of proof. After proving the connection using archaeological methods, the Biblical connection can now be brought.”

Her methods speak for themselves as Dr. Mazar is credited with many major finds.

AnaRina Heymann, director of Jerusalem Watch and the outreach coordinator for the City of David, frequently encounters skeptics who question the historical validity of King David.

“Until 1993, there was no way we could prove that King David existed,” Heymann told Breaking Israel News. “That was when archaeologists discovered the Tel Dan Stele.”

The Tel Dan Stele referencing King David. (Israel Museum/Wikimedia Commons/Oren Rozen)

The Tel Dan Stele, currently on display in the Israel Museum, is a broken stele (inscribed stone) discovered in 1993 during excavations at Tel Dan in northern Israel. It consists of several fragments making up part of a triumphal inscription in Aramaic, left most probably by Hazael of Aram-Damascus, an important regional figure in the late 9th century BCE. The inscription boasts of victories over the king of Israel and his ally the king of the “House of David”. It is considered to be the earliest accepted reference to the name David as the founder of the Kingdom of Judah.

“The Tel Dan Stele absolutely one hundred percent proves that King David existed,” Heymann said. “It refutes any claim that King David was merely a story.”

If verified, Tel Eton will be the second major archaeological site attributed to King David. In 2007,  Yosef Garfinkel of the Hebrew University found a large military fortress at Khirbet Qeiyafa approximately 20 miles southwest of Jerusalem. He eventually dated the fortress to the early 10th century BCE when King David is thought to have ruled over Israel concurrent with the structure at Tel Eton.

Professor Faust noted that the site at Tel Eton indicates a level of social complexity, indicating the society at the time was complex politically. The archaeological site covers 15 acres, making it the third largest in the Judean region behind Jerusalem and Lachish. When Professor Faust’s group first began excavations, they discovered fortifications, suggesting the regional importance of the site. Most of the buildings at the dig were from the 8th century BCE, several hundred years later than the period of King David. But further studies suggested the site had a much more ancient history.

The archaeologists recently announced the discovery of a new structure at the top of the tel (an artificial mound formed from the accumulated remains of civilizations that existed on the same site for hundreds or thousands of years) that was notably well-constructed, suggesting its role as a regional administrative center.

“The building was nicely executed, including ashlar stones in the corners and openings,” Faust said in Popular Archaeology. “Hundreds of artifacts were unearthed within the debris, including a wide range of pottery vessels, loom weights, many metal objects, botanical remains, as well as many arrowheads, evidence of the battle which accompanied the conquest of the site by the Assyrians.”

Researchers believe the city was destroyed by King Sennacherib and the Assyrians in 701 BCE.

The ashlar stones, finely cut and squared-off masonry, were the earliest examples of such masonry found in Judah. The structure was built on a deep foundation, indicating a high level of sophistication.

While exploring the foundations of the structure, the archaeologists discovered a pottery bowl which they believed was an offering to God as a supplication for protection of the building, something archaeologists have encountered before in more ancient digs. This type of foundation offering enabled the researchers to date the building to Canaanite Bronze Age and early Iron Age, and to the 10th century at the latest.

The researchers were aided by mole rats, burrowing rodents that live in the region. Archaeologists have little idea of what lays underground when they begin digging and many hours of meticulous work may be spent in a fruitless effort. By sifting through the earth brought to the surface by the burrowing rodents, archaeologists can glean clues about what lays below

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Science confirms Genesis Flood account, again

Oceans of water found deep within mantle of planet

Published: 14 hours ago

WASHINGTON – For the first time, scientists have corroborated with direct evidence that the Earth has oceans of water deep within mantle by actually recovering some trapped inside diamonds.

While at least three recent studies have found evidence to support the theory, what few scientists are noting is that the discovery of actual droplets of the water hundreds of miles deep below the Earth’s surface corroborates what the Bible said in the Genesis Flood account, note Christians who have been following the latest research.

The latest study by University of Nevada Las Vegas geo-scientist Oliver Tschauner and his colleagues who found traces of water trapped within diamonds pushed up to the surface by intense pressure.

The discovery is being hailed by other scientists as groundbreaking and surprising.

The study, “Ice-VII inclusions in Diamonds: Evidence for Aqueous Fluid in Earth’s Deep Mantle,” was published Thursday in the journal Science.

While in the jewelry business, diamond with any impurities hold less value, for Tschauner and other scientists, this flaw may hold the key to understanding the inner workings of our planet.

Tschauner studied diamonds found in China, the Republic of South Africa and Botswana that surged up from inside Earth.

“This shows that this is a global phenomenon,” the professor said.

Scientists theorize the diamonds used in the study were born in the mantle under temperatures reaching more than 1,000-degrees Fahrenheit. The mantle – which makes up more than 80 percent of the Earth’s volume – is made of silicate minerals containing iron, aluminum, and calcium among others. Until relatively recently, scientists were skeptical that water could be found there.

“These discoveries are important in understanding that water-rich regions in the Earth’s interior can play a role in the global water budget and the movement of heat-generating radioactive elements,” Tschauner said.

This discovery can help scientists create new, more accurate models of what’s going on inside the Earth, specifically how and where heat is generated under the Earth’s crust. In other words: “It’s another piece of the puzzle in understanding how our planet works,” Tschauner said.

Interestingly, Tschauner and his colleagues weren’t looking for water. Like most scientists and climatologists today, they were looking for carbon dioxide – thought to be the culprit behind the theory of global climate change. They didn’t find any.

“We’re still looking for it, actually,” said Tschauner.

The presence of water in diamonds suggests there is water-rich fluid in the transition zone between the upper and lower mantle, and even into the top of the lower mantle.

“This is really the first time that we see water at such depths,” says Oded Navon, a mantle petrologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who was not involved in the new study.

Other recent studies, beginning in 2014, based on wobbles in the Earth’s rotation and other phenomena, have postulated the amount of water inside the mantle could be as large or larger than all the water found in the oceans on the surface of the planet. Studies have indicated the fluid may influence all sorts of geological processes, including the grinding of tectonic plates, the formation of volcanoes and the movement of Earth’s elements.

Last June, for instance, researchers examining the rumbling of seismic waves and performing lab experiments that mimicked the crushing pressures and extreme temperatures of Earth’s mantle, made the argument that a huge amount of water resides within the planet. Those findings, conducted by Yale University geophysicist Jennifer Girard, who was not involved with this study, appeared in the June 13 issue of Science.

In January 2017, another study, conducted by Zdenek Futera of the University College Dublin in Ireland and published in Earth and Planetary Letters postulated the mantle was filled with fresh water exceeding the amount of saline fluid found in all the Earth’s oceans. That study suggested the novel idea that the Earth was actually manufacturing water.

There was another similar study in 2014 led by Graham Pearson, a geochemist at the University of Alberta in Canada. He now believes there is more water inside the planet than on the surface.

These theories, now backed up by the first physical evidence, hold some world-shaking ramifications:

  • That far from Earth having a limited amount of fresh water for its teeming population, there may be an unlimited amount deep in the mantle;
  • That scientists can divert some attention from the urgent race to discover of water on other planets;
  • That scientists might want to reconsider their skepticism of the biblical Great Flood account in Genesis 7:11, which said the waters broke through the surface of the Earth when “all the fountains of the great deep [were] broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.” Most scientists discount the notion that the Earth was ever flooded, despite the fact that 71 percent of the surface is covered by water today.
  • That the Earth’s water came from extraterrestrial sources – namely comets and asteroids, a common theory until this burst of new evidence of abundant water inside the planet.

“It is ironic that secularist scientists are still seeking to explain where the Earth’s water came from,” Andrew Snelling, Ph.D geologist from Australia and director of research for Answers in Genesis, told WND. “For many years now, they have endeavored to fill in the difficult-to-explain pieces of their ‘story’ about how our home Earth ‘just happened’ to become so habitable for life over the course of its supposed billions-of-years history. Secularists believe the Earth condensed from clumpy matter flung out of the solar nebula 4.56 or so billion years ago. It was thus originally a hot, molten blob that cooled. They used to suggest that most of the water came from inside this cooling Earth, but not enough to fill the oceans we have on the Earth’s surface today. A once popular theory was that comets (which are essentially large, dirty snowballs) collided with the Earth and deposited their water on its surface.”

But that explanation could not possibly explain oceans of water deep beneath the surface of the planet. With the new evidence for just that, a new explanation was needed.

“Of course, these same secularists and Bible skeptics say, as predicted in 2 Peter 3:3-6, that there never was a global flood on the Earth, even though it is still 70 percent covered in water, which averages more than two miles deep,” writes Snelling. “But ironically, they also say that, due to the many evidences of massive water erosion on Mars, there was a watery flood ‘of Biblical proportions’ on that planet in the past, even though that planet’s surface is dry today!”

Snelling, too, sees the recent studies as evidence of the biblical Flood account.

“The Bible’s description of that outbursting event is merely confirmed by the latest findings of the secular scientists,” he writes. “So, the waters that came from inside the Earth, combined with the waters in the original, created oceans to produce the Genesis Flood.”

Pastor Mark Biltz, the man who discovered the “Blood Moons” phenomenon and the author of the new book “God’s Day Timer,” called the earlier reports of the massive water supplies within the Earth “fantastic news.”

“Over and over again science is finally catching up to the Bible,” Biltz said. “The Bible says in the Book of Daniel that in the last days knowledge will be increased. Well, it seems the scientific community is waking up more and more to the truths of the Bible.”

He added: “The Bible is much like the ocean itself in that its depths are unsearchable and vastly unknown to man. In time, God has been revealing its hidden treasures for science to find. Long before, when scientists thought the world was flat or a cube held up elephants or turtles, the Bible declared in Job 26 that the Earth was just suspended in space and in Isaiah 40 that it was a sphere.”

Joseph Farah, founder of WND and author of “The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians and the End of the Age,” wrote about science’s evolving theories about water inside the Earth in that book and is revising and expanding his own observations for a future updated and expanded edition.

“Since massive amounts of water from inside the Earth were used by God to destroy the planet, and future biblical prophecies suggest ‘living waters’ from inside the Earth will restore the planet to its Garden of Eden-like beginning, what we are seeing in these new discoveries makes perfect sense,” he says. “In fact, I believe the ‘living waters’ we read about in the Bible are already present deep beneath the surface of the planet.”

Both Old Testament and New speak about something called “living waters.”

In Zechariah 14:8, a prophetic book it says: “And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.” Farah says there is more detail on the flow of these living waters provided in Ezekiel 47 as waters rush out from under the threshold of the Temple in Jerusalem toward the east. This will not be trickle of water like we see today in the Jordan River. It will be river that cannot be passed over. It will run eastward and go down into the Judean desert and into the Dead Sea. “And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh” (Ezekiel 47:9).

“While we know these ‘living waters’ are of God and could be produced entirely supernaturally, we also know that God uses what He has created in the natural world for His own purposes. Could it be these waters are just waiting to break forth on His timing?” Farah posits.

A Christian thought leader who has long used the “living waters” metaphor is author, filmmaker and apologist Ray Comfort. Comfort, founder of the Living Waters ministry, welcomed the news of water within the Earth as further support for his Christian position.

“It’s beneath the intellectual dignity of most people nowadays to believe in the biblical account of anything,” he told WND. “This is because God, in His great wisdom, chose foolish things to confound the wise. The Bible is filled with stories that are an insult to anyone who is proud of heart, and God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. The door of salvation is deliberately set low.”

He adds: “However, there is a massive amount of evidence to prove a worldwide flood. The main one being that 70 percent of the Earth is covered in water. That’s the kind of ultimate ‘duh.’ Or, for want of a better analogy, they can’t (or won’t) see the forest for the trees.”

“In Ezekiel 47:8-12 it talks about how the waters shall bring healing to the whole area,” he says. “Very soon the future will be upon us and mankind will stand in awe as the Creator of the Universe reveals Himself as the Grand Scientist!”

Another Christian minister who said he was not surprised by how science is catching up to the Bible is Bill Cloud of Shoreshim Ministries, the author of “Esau Rising.”

“Obviously, as a believer, discoveries such as these don’t surprise me,” he told WND. “Not only does it confirm my faith in the Bible is well placed but it also reveals that God uses those who tend to doubt His existence to prove that He does exist! I believe this is connected to a principle found in Proverbs 25:2: ‘It is the glory of God to conceal a thing; it is the honor of kings to search out the matter.’ In other words, sometimes God plays ‘hide and seek’ and those who investigating His creation are ‘it.’ If they keep searching, they are going to be continually stunned by what they find.”

He added: “In this case, that vast supplies of water are concealed beneath the earth’s mantle should come as no surprise to those who believe what the Bible has to say. Water covered the entire earth before God caused dry land to appear – that water had to go somewhere. The great flood was not brought about solely by rain falling from heaven but also because the ‘fountains of the great deep were broken up.’ When those waters abated, it is likely they returned to where they originated – deep within the Earth.

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Clay Seal of Isaiah Found But Mystery Remains

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz February 22, 2018 , 4:20 pm

“The prophecies of Yeshayahu son of Amotz, who prophesied concerning Yehuda and Yerushalayim in the reigns of Uzziyahu, Yotam, Achaz, and Chizkiyahu, kings of Yehuda.” Isaiah 1:1 (The Israel Bible™)

Excavations at the City of David in Jerusalem. (Shutterstock)

A prominent Israeli archaeologist announced this week her discovery of a clay seal bearing the Hebrew name of Isaiah which may very well have belonged to the Biblical prophet.

“We appear to have discovered a seal impression, which may have belonged to the prophet Isaiah, in a scientific, archaeological excavation,” said Dr. Eilat Mazar, an archaeologist from Hebrew University, who made the discovery.

“The clay seal shows the lower part of a grazing doe, a motif of blessing and protection found in Judah, particularly in Jerusalem,” Dr. Mazar wrote in Biblical Archaeology on Wednesday.

Clay impression of Isaiah (Photo courtesy of Dr. Eilat Mazar)

It is unclear however, if the seal actually belonged to the prophet Isaiah because it remains uncertain that a letter may or may not be missing.

The [clay impression] reads ‘leyesha‘yah[u]’ in ancient Hebrew letters, which means ‘[belonging] to Isaiah’. The three Hebrew letters of nun, vav, and yud also appear. After the letter yud, the corner of the seal is broken off, raising the question if the three letters were also followed by a fourth letter, aleph completing the word, navi (prophet). Alternatively, the damaged space may very have been blank.

Without that missing corner confirming the existence or absence of the aleph, the bulla cannot be fully determined to have belonged to the Biblical prophet. If it can be authenticated, however, this will be the first time that an artifact directly connected to a Biblical prophet has been found.

The seal was discovered ten feet from where, in 2015, Dr. Mazar found another similar artifact that belonged to King Hezekiah who ruled over Judah from 727 BCE-698 BCE.

“The close relationship between the king and the prophet is well known,” Dr. Mazar told Breaking Israel News. “Finding a seal impression of the prophet Isaiah next to that of King Hezekiah should not be unexpected. It would not be the first time that seal impressions of two Biblical personas were discovered in close proximity.”

Dr. Mazar referred to two seal impressions belonging to Yehukhal ben Sheleḿiyahu ben Shovi and Gedaliyahu ben Pashḥur, both of whom were high officials in King Ẓedekiah’s court. Both seals were found just a few feet apart from each other, in the City of David in 2005. She noted that both were mentioned in the same Biblical verse.

Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedalia son of Pashhur, Jucal son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malchiah heard what Yirmiyahu was saying to all the people. Jeremiah 38:1

The seal itself was not used by the common folk and therefore, symbolizes a person’s high stature in society.

“A seal is not an ordinary thing belonging to normal people,” Dr. Mazar explained. “Important people who need a seal had them to seal documents or to seal packages. No other figure was closer to King Hezekiah than the prophet Isaiah so it is an obvious assumption that he would have such a seal. If this seal did belong to him, it would indicate his high status.”

The reverse side of the seal shows the impression of woven cloth. Dr. Mazar suggested that the cloth may have been from a package the prophet was sending, marking it as his own. She suggested an intriguing and significant possibility of what that package may have been.

“This is reminiscent of the story of the Prophet Isaiah healing King Hezekiah with figs,” she elaborated, referring to one such Biblical account.

When Yeshayahu said, “Let them take a cake of figs and apply it to the rash, and he will recover.” Isaiah 38:21

“Perhaps he brought special figs intended for the king and put a seal so that no one would touch it,” Dr. Mazar suggested. “We don’t know but there are many possibilities.”

Remarkably, a fingerprint is visible on the clay, perhaps that Isaiah himself.

“If the owner of the seal was the Prophet Isaiah, we have here the fingerprint of the prophet,” Dr. Mazar said. “But we cannot be sure of this because of the missing Aleph.”

Even the few clues found on the tiny piece of clay give hints that must be considered. Dr. Mazar noted that most seals are identified by the name of the owner and the owner’s father, which in the case of the Prophet Isaiah would be ‘Isaiah the son of Amotz’.

“That is the normal style.  however there are cases of seals containing the name and the title,” she said, emphasizing that this also was not a definitive clue. “Navi without an ‘aleph’ could also mean ‘from the city of Nov,’ a Kohanic (priestly) city near Jerusalem mentioned often in the Bible.”

Thereupon the king sent for the KohenAchimelech son of Achituv and for all the Kohanim belonging to his father’s house at Nov. They all came to the king. I Samuel 22:11

One other objection to the possibility that this seal belonged to Isaiah the prophet is the lack of the letter hay as a definitive prefix. In the Bible, the word navi (prophet) is usually preceded by the definitive of hay, translating as “the prophet.” The letter Hay, however, does not appear on the clay impression as a prefix to the letters of nun, vav, bet and yud, indicating that the seal did not say, “the prophet.” Dr. Mazar acknowledged this as a potential sign that the seal impression may not be from Isaiah but also noted that many inscriptions in ancient Hebrew have been found without the prefix.

Although she is not religious, Dr. Mazar uses the Bible as a resource for her research.

“I look for the reality behind the stories since reality is clearly written there, but the bible has to be examined according to the archaeological proof,” she stressed. “I was educated in archaeology to relate to the Bible as a most important historical source, to examine it and re-examine it.”

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